By AVIVA LUTTRELL
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
(Published in print: Wednesday, January 6, 2016)
GREENFIELD — The Recreation Department is still seeking proposals from artists to develop public art projects for the downtown area working with children.
The Community Kids Public Art Project is organized by the Recreation Department and the Greenfield Public Art Committee and is made possible through an Adams Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Artists will help up to 50 children in kindergarten through grade 7 brainstorm designs, create sketches and coordinate the installation of the projects in the spring, after receiving approval from the town.
Two different artists will be selected for projects over February and April school vacations and will receive a $1,000 stipend from the town, disbursed in two $500 payments at the conclusion of the vacation week and after the spring installation.
Recreation Director Christy Moore said she’s received several proposals but is hoping for more by the Friday deadline.
“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for Greenfield,” she said of the project. “We’re going to get a nice piece of public art but we’re engaging the youth in the entire process. It’s an opportunity for them to learn.”
Applications must include a project description and design sketch, resumes and samples of work. The two artists selected will be subject to background checks and all required materials should be submitted to the Recreation Department, 20 Sanderson St., by the end of the week.
Moore said adding more art to the downtown also fits in Greenfield’s plan to create a downtown cultural district.
Greenfield Business Association Coordinator Caitlin von Schmidt said there are “numerous” reasons why artists should apply to be part of the program.
“It gives them an opportunity to work with kids, to develop a project that will become a piece of art in town that is highly visible,” she said.
Von Schmidt added working with artists will also encourage youth to think about art as a viable career option.
“I don’t think kids really think about art as something they can do as a job,” she said, adding they’ll get to see what goes into the decision-making and planning processes. “There are a lot of things beyond making a drawing or a painting.”
The grant will also allow the town to hire two high school art assistants and recreation staff will also help supervise children throughout the project.
“It’s all about getting to have more art in town,” von Schmidt said. “It increases the quality of life and that’s always a good thing. The more we can make Greenfield a great place to live, the more people that will want to live here.”
Selections will be made shortly after Jan. 8 and artists will be notified. A contract will be awarded by the end of January.
For more information, call the Recreation Department at 413-772-1553 or visit: www.greenfieldrecreation.com.
You can reach Aviva Luttrell at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 268 On Twitter follow: @AvivaLuttrell